Repacking Holiday Decorations
The holidays are over and now comes that most unpleasant of the season – packing up all of those beautiful decorations you have enjoyed for the past month or so. The challenge to doing this well is putting items away safely and neatly so that next year they will be in good shape and easy to set out again. Storing holiday décor in large plastic bins is one of the easiest ways to stay organized. You can get these bins just about anywhere (Target, Home Depot, etc.) and most come with snap-on lids to keep out dirt, dust, and pests. Place a strip of masking tape on the top and sides of the bin to label its contents. Using tape this way makes it easy to relabel the bin if you change uses down the road. To store ornaments and other breakable items, keep their original packaging. This will also make it easier to know what’s inside those little boxes next year. If you don’t have the original packages, using zip lock bags, bubble wrap or tissue paper (or even leftover wrapping paper from gifts!) can be a handy way to store breakables. Put any food-based decorations inside a sealed bag to keep out bugs and rodents, too. Egg cartons or partitioned boxes make for a nice, padded storage container as well. Storing outdoor lights is always a challenge. They get so easily tangled and messy no matter how hard you try, it seems. One trick is to use empty paper towel or toilet paper rolls and wrap the string of lights. Tuck each outlet end into one side of the hole, hold in place with your thumb while twisting the light string around the tube. Then, tuck the other outlet end in the opposite side of the tube. Place your front door wreath inside of a large, outdoor trash bag. Tie the top off and store flat on top of your other décor bins. Keep the door hanger inside the same bag so you won’t have to search for it next time. For artificial Christmas trees, there are a variety of storage options. One is to repack it into the box it came in. This requires dismantling the tree and folding up the branches that you so carefully spread apart to make your tree look natural and full. Instead, try using a special storage bag, like a TreeKeeper, that you just wrap around your assembled tree. Many come with a rolling base so you can simply push your tree into a closet or garage until next year. Taking a few extra minutes and being careful now will save you lots of time, headaches and money when the next holiday season comes around.